Lehigh Valley

One dies after East Stroudsburg assisted living facility fire

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. - The damage doesn't appear significant from the outside, but fire investigators say a woman was found dead inside a room after an early-morning fire at Shirley Futch Plaza, an assisted-living facility in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County.

East Stroudsburg fire Chief Dale Fetterly says the fire started around 9 a.m. The chief says building staff struggled to find the right key to open the room where the fire was burning.

"Fire was on the first floor. First employee called it in. Two maintenance men went in and retrieved keys. There's no master key. Each room has its' own individual key," said Fetterly.

The chief says the fire was small and burned part of a bed and wall before building staff helped put it out.

"They made entry, had to back out, went and got a fire extinguisher, made entry again and knocked out what little fire was left and we got on scene," said Fetterly.

The chief says no other residents were injured, but much of the building needed to be cleared of smoke. He says the facility does several fire drills a year and says all residents followed the evacuation plan.

"They didn't find the cat at first, but they found the cat alive," said Linda Slashinski, a friend of the victim.

Slashinski says thankfully, Sammy the cat survived the fire. She says the vet has given him a clean bill of health, but unfortunately, he was surrendered to a local shelter.

She says she hopes someone can help honor her friend and give him a new home.

"He's had a lot of tragedy this year because his mother, his owner, passed away in late summer and this was her sister that took the cat in and she has since now died too," said Slashinski.

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